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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 328-332

Health-related quality of life and facial function in children with repaired cleft palate attending a speech camp: A descriptive cross-sectional study

1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan; Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Afieharo I Michael
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_42_22

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Background: Children are capable of reporting on their quality of life; therefore, the assessment of their quality of life should be an integral component of cleft care. Aim: We sought to determine the health-related quality of life and facial function of children who attended a speech camp. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The Cleft questionnaire (Cleft Q) subscales were used to obtain the health-related quality of life and facial function of the participants. Participants who were 8–29 years were eligible to participate. Informed consent was obtained from the parents of the children. Data were compared with normative Cleft Q values and analyzed as frequencies. Results: Five of the 15 participants who attended the speech camp were eligible and participated in the study. All the participants were females aged 8, 10, 11, 13, and 21 years. Speech function and speech distress were lowest for the 21-year-old (34% and 36%, respectively) and the 11-year-old (34% and 42%, respectively) participants. They had received palatal repair at the ages of 19 years and 5 years. Scores for speech function and speech distress fell below the matched normative values for age, gender, and cleft type in all the participants. The lowest scores in school (63%) and social function (48%) were seen with the oldest participant. Only one participant had 100% psychological function. Conclusion: The quality of life of children with repaired cleft palate in this study is impaired and may be related to the residual deficits in facial function such as speech function. Early cleft palate repair alone does not guarantee optimal speech or quality of life. Late palatal repair could be associated with poorer outcomes in facial function and quality of life. Quality of life is an integral component of cleft care and should be assessed.

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